Beetroot Delight

This recipe is one of my favourites. When it comes to beetroot, people especially children don’t seem to like it. But the preparation I am sharing with you now, is one of the best tasting vegetarian food ever. This is also offered to Gods in temples in South of India. I have added a few things of my choice in this recipe.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 beetroots (peeled and grated)

1 green chilli chopped very fine

2 tbsps of freshly grated coconut

1 tbsp of oil

1/2 a tsp of mustard seeds

1 tbsp of mixed pulses like chana dal, split urad dal and tur dal

A pinch of asafoetida

2 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped

Salt to taste.

Procedure

Take a shallow pan with lid and put it on the flame.

Add oil and once hot, add mustard seeds. Let them crackle and then add asfoetida and chopped garlic.

Now add the mixed dals and then add grated beetroot. Saute and now cover and cook for ten minutes on low heat. Don’t add water.

After 10 minutes remove the lid and mix everything and now add grated coconut and green chillies.

Mix everything well and let it cook uncovered for a few more minutes. You can add red chilli powder if you want it hot because beetroot tends to tender a sweet taste which is why it isy not like by many.

This is usually served with plain rice. If there are leftovers, this can be used as an excellent colourful dip or raita when combined with hung curd or thick creamy yogurt.

Mochar Ghonto(Banana flower cooked with aromatic spices)

This dish is very dear to Bengalis and though it takes long to remove the stamens and stigma and chop them fine,we still manage to go through all hurdles to endure the end result which is worth the wait. Thanks to the home delivery of vegetables, we now get it peeled and just ready to be chopped. This is eaten with plain rice and is little sweet which is not exactly new to Bengali cuisine. The sweetness balances the tartness of the banana flower.

Ingredients

  1. 1 banana flower (peeled, stamens removed and chopped)
  2. 4 tbsps of freshly grated coconut
  3. 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 2 bay leaves, 1 dried red chilli
  4. A pinch of turmeric powder
  5. 2 tbsps of ghee or clarified butter
  6. 1 small tablet sized tamarind ball (seedless)
  7. 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed ginger juice
  8. 2 tbsps of fresh cream
  9. Garam masala powder
  10. Slit green chillies
  11. Salt and sugar to taste.

Procedure

  1. Wash and drain the chopped banana flowers and transfer it to a pressure cooker with tamarind , salt and turmeric powder and half a cup of water.
  2. After one whistle, let it cool down and drain the water and slightly mash the flowers with a fork.
  3. Add ghee to a wok and put all the whole spices and once they start to crackle, add the flowers.
  4. Saute and keep adding all the ingredients except grated coconut.
  5. Stir fry on medium flame until the aroma of ghee, fresh cream and spices fill your kitchen.
  6. Once it is dry, transfer it to a plate and garnish it with grated coconut.
  7. It is ready to serve.
  8. Cooking of this recipe varies from kitchen to kitchen. Many add potatoes but I personally do not like potatoes in this dish.

My Macher Jhol (Bengali Fish Curry)

The word curry or jhol implies slow cooking with spices wherein each spice has a role to play. Few of them impart their flavour, some render their sweetness and some give the required consistency to the curries. For bengalis, macher jhol and rice combo is comfort food. In earlier times, fish was deep fried before putting into jhol which made it tastier. Nowadays keeping health factor in mind, we shallow fry or at times even grill before putting into the already simmering curry. We add vegetables as per season and availability but believe me there nothing can stop us from cooking macher jhol. If our pantry runs barren we cook it with only potatoes and dal kisses(bori). Today I have shared the recipe of aloo(potatoes), phoolkopi(cauliflower) and bori(dal kisses) jhol cooked the traditional way. Each and every household have their own recipe.

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Patishaapta ( Sweet pancakes) 

Patishaapta is a pretty easy peethey to  make, when compared to its counterparts. The authentic recipe demands a mix of Maida (refined flour) , rice  flour and semolina but I have made only  with Maida in the following recipe. I have done this keeping in mind the busy working people who want to make this but are alarmed at the thought of making.  My experiment was good and its outcome was appreciated by many.

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Chorchori (Mixed Vegetables) 

This recipe is a hot favourite of Bengalis. My personal belief about the origin of this recipe is that in earlier times there used to be a joint family system in most of the households. Bengalis have always been fond of food and the variety of food on their platter would require  lots of  fresh vegetables. The peels of the vegetables must have been quite a lot in quantity. Instead of  wasting and throwing away the peels they came up with the concept of chorchori. All the members including the helpers  and the servants would have gotten to eat a good share. Not to  forget the widows who, in those days were not allowed to have the non-vegetarian fare. This tasty dish would have satiated their taste buds. Interestingly, the word Chorchori comes from the noise made by the sizzle of the vegetables and their peels inside the wok. In course of time, chorchori has occupied a very loved and adored place in Bengali meals. 

This preparation doesn’t have any  fixed set of veggies. The best thing is,  you can use whatever you want to  and how much ever you want to. I have mentioned whatever I have used in this recipe but you can let your imagination run wild.

Continue reading “Chorchori (Mixed Vegetables) “

Shukto (Veggies cooked with Bengali  Five Spice Mix) 

Shukto is a Bengali delicacy served with rice and fish curry and  I believe, its actually is a palate cleanser. Bengalis are known for their sweets but what people do not know is, a bitter tasting dish is a part of a their everyday afternoon meal. There has been quite a debate about the origin of Shukto because some say it is Portuguese in origin. They had a similar dish which they cooked with Bitter-gourd or Karela but, when Bengalis cook Shukto, they incorporate lot of  summer veggies with karela and bori(dal kisses) . A sweet touch  by adding milk and sugar transforms this dish to a different level altogether. 

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 Cabbage and potato Cooked in Bengali Style

This recipe is typical of bengali households barring the fact that some love to have it little sweet. My version is not sweet though. I strongly believe that the cutting of this vegetable plays a very important role in enhancing the taste. I have shown in the pics below as to how I exactly cut it. I tried  using the food processor,  but that didn’t work very well as it affects the look of the ready dish. And as I always believe that, its your eyes that eat first. 

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Eggplant Sauteed With Tomatoes and Fenugreek leaves( Methi Begun)

A very simple,  no onion and no garlic dish that cooks very fast. I love to have this with plain rice but you can have this with any flatbread. I would rather, you keep your plate ready before you start making this. As you sautee, the aroma of fenugreek leaves fills the air and you tend to feel very hungry. This dish is very good for diabetics. Whole cooking process is done on a high flame.

Continue reading “Eggplant Sauteed With Tomatoes and Fenugreek leaves( Methi Begun)”